I receive regular emails from readers asking ‘How can I stop my Hilton HHonors points from expiring?’ or ‘When do my Hilton HHonors points expire?’. This series looks at the major hotel loyalty programmes and shows you how to keep valuable points intact.
Hilton HHonors is the loyalty scheme for a wide variety of hotel brands including Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites and Waldorf-Astoria.
When do Hilton HHonors points expire?
According to the Hilton HHonors terms and conditions here (clause 13):
“Members who do not have eligible activity as defined in a. – d. below in any 12 consecutive month period may be removed from the Program and are subject to forfeiture of all accumulated points. At the discretion of Hilton HHonors Worldwide, such Members may be permitted to remain in the Program and removed after five years of inactivity.
To keep accumulated HHonors Points, the Member must take one of the following actions within a 12 consecutive month period:
a. stay at a hotel within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio pursuant to the terms herein
b. earn HHonors Points through any third party source of HHonors Point accumulation, including a Hilton co-branded credit card, pursuant to its terms
c. purchase HHonors Points; or
d. donate points through The Hilton HHonors Giving Back Program”
What are my options to ‘earn HHonors Points through any third party source”?
The key point is that YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY AT A HOTEL TO KEEP YOUR POINTS ALIVE. You simply need to have some earning activity go through your account.
There are various ways of achieving this:
Earning points (I have only listed options suitable for UK readers):
Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Hilton HHonors. The minimum transfer is just 200 points which is worth 400 Hilton points.
Transfer points from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club into Hilton HHonors. The minimum transfer is 10,000 Virgin miles which is worth 15,000 Hilton points.
Transfer points from Diners Club Rewards. The minimum transfer is 380 points which is worth 2,000 Hilton points.
Take out the free UK Hilton Visa card (my review is here) and spend on it. The sign-up bonus on this card is excellent – a free night in any hotel when you spend just £750.
Booking and cancelling a redemption room to create movement on your account does NOT count as activity under the terms above. Under the rules I quoted above there is only one spending option which keeps your points alive:
Donate points to charity via The Hilton HHonors Giving Back Program. The minimum transfer is a steep 10,000 points.
There is another alternative and one which I have used in the past. You can transfer Hilton HHonors points to someone else for a fee of $12.50 per 5,000 points – the form is here. I would value 5,000 points at around £15 ($22.50) so there is some value in doing this rather than watching them expire.
It is slightly trickier to keep Hilton HHonors points alive than with some other chains. That said, it is a relatively easy thing to do, especially if you have some Amex Membership Rewards points.
If the worst comes to the worst and your points are lost, Hilton has been known to reinstate them if you call. This will usually require you to make a number of stays over the next few months – the points are not put back without some activity on your part.
If you want to track the expiry dates of all of your miles and points, I recommend signing up to AwardWallet for free. It keeps all of your points balances, including non-travel loyalty schemes, in one place and updates them automatically. If you pay $10 every six months for the premium version it also tracks your expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.
(Want to earn more hotel points? To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)